Muguet - Hydroxycitronellal

Hydroxycitronellal is the synthetic Muguet. It posses a very fragrant fruity floral odour resembling the smell of lindenblossom or lily-of-the-valley. It’s not strong and is also a base note, so for the first time your nose might smell almost nothing from the blotter dipped in hydroxycitronellal. But the more you work with it the more intensive it gets – a warm, musky sweet, very fragrant and fruity floral smell. I have two samples of this aromachemical. One is from the PerfumersWorld and another one is from the Hekserij.nl. It’s interesting to notice that the sample from the PerfumersWorld has a touch of unpleasant bitter citronella-like top-note. Depending on surrounding materials this note can either disappear or give a disturbing citronella smelling nuance to the Muguet compositions (especially when mixed with low quality citronellol). But the aromachemical from the hekserij.nl is divine – almost like smelling a real flower.

This material has been manufactured and sold by Givaudan under the name of Laurine since 1906 and is the oldest essential building stone of the muguet note. But another sources mention the 1908 as a year when hydroxycitronellal was made by Chuit for the first time. Both can be true. Although it has some disadvantages (weak odour, stability problems, irritating effect on skin), it’s the best aromachemical reproducing the lily-of-the valley odour. The problem is that because of it rather weak smell it needs to be used in relatively high amounts to make a noticeable effect. But from another side it irritates the skin at high concentrations. IFRA has restricted the use of hydroxycitrobellal up to 1% in perfumes that makes problematic to use of high concentration of this aromachemical in fragrances at perfume concentration. But it is still enough to make a descent Muguet soliflore at EdT or even EdP concentration.

For the first time it was successfully used in Quelques Fleur by Houbigant (1912). The most famous is its use in Diorissimo – the Lily-of-the-Valley perfume. Hydroxycitronellal is used in the notes of muguet, lilac, lindenblossom, sweat pea, magnolia, hyacinth, but also as a modifier in many other perfumes.

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